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If there's anything worse than being dumped in the first place, it's seeing your ex-boyfriend flaunting another love interest right in your face (if 'in your face' means somewhere in the universe where your paths may cross). It's not time to throw in the towel quite yet. As unlikely as it may seem, there are ways around this obstacle – or any other that may be thrown in your path. While it may not be simple, it isn't as difficult as you may expect – or fear.

Trepidation can play a huge role in defining your chances here. You need to not only think positively but also capitalize on some of your best attributes – and that includes your ability to think outside the box. Desperate times call for desperate measures and you've got a lot of challenges to face. To increase your ability to succeed you have to be open to any avenues that can help you achieve your goal – even if they would generally make you feel slightly uneasy.

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No one wants to face down an accusation of emotional or mental manipulation – especially when it may be true. You need to refine your tact and make it an art form. Your ex will probably question your motives – at least in the beginning stages. He doesn't to consider that you could spill his secrets to his new girlfriend and set him at a permanent disadvantage. To help begin the process of trust all over again you need to respect his current situation by not dialing him up out of the blue when he may be spending time with his new girlfriend. Some means of communicating are better suited for this purpose than others.

Sabotaging your ex-boyfriend's new relationship is going to take a lot of work but before you get started you need to let it be. Leave them alone while they enjoy the initial stages of their new love. They're going to be closer than ever in the beginning – spending all their time together and learning new things. Now is not the time to make your move and if you play your cards too soon you're going to ruin your shot. Making the right move at the right time is absolutely critical to your success, so take your time and let it play out on its own. When you do start the process, make sure that it's in a friendly manner – you don't want your ex to think that you're still in love with him and you want to break up his new relationship.

That's going to happen, but you don't want to announce it right off the bat.

While you may wish time-travel could instantaneously propel you forward and move you past all of this effort and waiting, it simply doesn't work that way. Baby steps can lead to bigger moves – eventually. You need to avoid provoking the wrath of his new girlfriend and she's going to be pleased if you're messaging her man out of the blue right under her nose. Find a way around the problem by sending him a quick message via email. Quick is the operative word. A few lines at most will suffice and you want your first message to be something he can respond to simply. You're looking for a way in, not an abrupt change of heart. Once he does respond, it's up to you to continue the conversation one step at a time. As long as it's still going it's a step (albeit a baby one) in the right direction.

Baby steps mean allowing the conversation to progress as they would with any acquaintance. It can be frustrating when you used to be so close, but this is the way it has to be for now. An added bonus is that his girlfriend has no idea what's happening and you can pat yourself on the back for sneaking in unannounced. Don't pry your ex for information about his relationship – he'll bring it up on his own. When he does, stay positive. Remind yourself of the outcome and don't lose your focus on the incidentals. You don't want to give him a bad impression now and he's looking carefully for a reaction.

You want to become a part of your ex's thoughts – in a positive way that is not fixated on the circumstances surrounding your breakup. When he takes the first step to call you it may be tempting to let him in on your secret – don't. You don't want him to associate calling you with heavy, emotional diatribes or he'll never do it again. Keep it happy, simple and humorous – it should be fun for both of you. The better you can encourage this type of comfort the more likely he is to call you again and continue the process.

Your ex-boyfriend used to trust you implicitly and once you've shown him by your behavior and your attitude that he can feel secure in coming to you, he's going to start spilling the beans. Chances are high that this will include some information about the state of his current relationship. Let him get it off his chest as much as he wants to but don't inject your own opinion into the mix. Simply listen to what he has to say – and keep the information in mind so you can use it later.

Things have been going well and you're developing a close bond with your ex-boyfriend. You're about to dive into the next stage – seeing each other in person. While there are ways for you to set it up you hopefully won't have to – he will. He'll ask to see you again and you can give yourself a huge pat on the back. If your conversation is fun, exciting and a little bit mischievous he's going to be left wanting more. You've begun the second to last stage before you can call him yours again.

The last stage obviously involves taking your newly discovered friendship up a notch and creating a romantic bond between you from the one that already exists. While jumping into his lap and kissing him may seem like a good idea, you need to pay attention to any clues that he's giving you. If he's seriously giving you the go ahead, you'll know. You were probably able to read him well while you were dating and there's no reason to think you can't now. You're doing all this behind the scenes to keep out of sight of his current relationship which adds an extra exciting element to the mix. When it does happen, it's going to be amazing – but it's not quite time to celebrate your victory.

You have his interest, his attraction and his trust – but you don't have him yet. He's still in the midst of another relationship and just because he's interested in you doesn't mean that leaving is going to be easy. It may be a trying time period for you to wait around and be the dreaded “other” woman, but your efforts are going to pay off as long as you can hold yourself in check and not get too impatient. You may think you have it in the bag so it's okay to sleep with him – but that could make an already complicated situation worse in the long run and put off the eventuality that he'll end things with her and begin another relationship with you. Timing is still vital and it's necessary for you to take things slow.

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